Ask The Experts

The key to empowering people

Question: As time goes by, I am beginning to feel that I am getting less and less effective as a general manager. It is increasingly difficult to ask my people to do the things I want them to do.

Getting them to inch in a little more for the organisation is tough, as it is like asking for their soul. All in all, getting them to respect my position, authority and experience means nothing to them.

Really, my 30 years of experience is not getting to where I want them to be especially when I am nearing retirement. Instead of leaving behind a legacy, I am getting heartaches and headaches. What do I need to do or change in order to have some good memories of my career?

Answer: The key thing here is, you have not redefined the meaning of power and authority in today’s world. Power and authority are no longer a one-man show, where only you have every say and the rest have to obey every instruction you make.

It is no wonder those who still believe in its old meaning are facing hard times. Even in the political world, uprisings and revolutions are taking place in governments that still believe in this one-sided affair of power and authority. You have to learn to empower your people by letting go, or by sharing your power and authority with them in return for results that are mutually desired by all.

To empower is to give people autonomy without losing your control. In fact, you are more in control of the results because you are engaging your people more.

People want a say in the way things are done and in how decisions are made. Turn your role from a hero to a partner who facilitates, listens and co-creates solutions with your people.

Powerful questions:

• What will be your new meaning as a leader to your people?

• What do you want to see in a healthy working relationship?

• What old habits will you have to give away?

• What will be your new life like when you do it?

Article by Dr Michael Heah, an ICF Master Certified Coach with